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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » How do you lot get tips (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Eddy
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Manchester
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In a restaurant when you are doing table magic, how do you get tips? I have never done an official job yet but my first will be in a few weeks. Do I hold out a hat? Do I signal for a tip or do people just get the money out on their own accord?
La magie, c'est ma vie
MacGyver
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Don't work for tips....

Just read one of the other million boring posts on this subject on this forum.

There are many good reasons not to work for tips, most of which deal with professionalism(What type of a Magician works for tips? What kind of actor/comedian works for tips?)

Only you can decide what caliber of a performer you want to be.
Peter Marucci
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Eddy writes: "In a restaurant when you are doing table magic, how do you get tips? "

You don't.

Oh, sure; others will say that they make a lot of money from tips. But, then, you find magicians who beat their spouses, use drugs, and believe in the tooth fairy (or, at least, Bush). So what?

Working for tips, as MacGyver points out above, is decidedly unprofessional. It puts the customer in an uncomfortable situation, leaves them unhappy, and that makes the management unhappy. And remember who hired you!

Once again, there are those who will say that doesn't happen to them. Yeah, right! These are probably the types that believe "it's fun to be fooled" because they're doing that to themselves.

Does your doctor or lawyer get tips. No, because they're professionals. Well, then, be professional!

cheers,
Peter Marucci
kinesis
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I don't work for tips, I don't try and work tips. I don't expect tips. I do the show. I get paid for it. If someone wants to give me a tip I will gracefully accept it. This might be a UK thing but instead of tipping financially many clients ask if they can buy me a drink. In this case I almost always decline the offer (politly of course.)

There are many many threads on this subject and just as many different opinions.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein






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ed rhodes
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I think someone suggested if you're pressed on the drink issue, you explain that there's nothing more pathetic than a drunk magician and ask the person if he give the bartender money for a drink which you will have later... of course, "later" you and the bartender split the contents of the drink jar. (Only fair since he's holding the money for you.)

Another reason not to work for tips is that the waitstaff is already working for tips and they're going to be annoyed at you eating into their tips. (Not to mention the customers who are going to think; "Great, I'm supposed to tip the waiter/waitress, now I'm supposed to tip this guy too?)
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
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Mr Amazeo
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I don't in any way expect any tips from my customers either. The show is "compliments of the house." If they insist on tipping, which happens, I try to gracefully refuse, but if I end up with it anyways, I always give it to the waitress for that table. My first goal to to attract the repeat customer. My second is to increase sales. Hopefully the wait staff will realize more income also. I see my job is making more money for everyone, and the restaurant compensates me for it. People enjoy themselves more and return more often if they know they are getting something for free. If you're expecting tips, they may or may not want to come back week after week.

I personally think that is important to remember that your sole purpose for being there is to promote the restaurant - not necessarily yourself (although pleny of side work comes from it).

Once you realize you are in the Restaurant Promotion Business you'll understand why trolling for tips is seriously unprofessional.
Darck Ninja
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Ok, OK! He gets the Idea guys. Not everyone has to put in their 2 cents about not taking tips!(lol, I made a funny!)
What he needs to know now, is how to get money from the management, and introduce himself as a Professional Magician.
Listen, I know we've told SO MANY people this, and just about every week some NooB comes in asking the same thing again, but lets help him out here, that's what these forums are for.

OK, this I my compilation of how you need to go about Restraunt Magic.

1. Start out by using the Sleights and routines that are the most comfortable for you, until the restraunt scene becomes "home" for your magic.

2. Make sure to mix it up. First, don't start with a card trick, unless its the Diehard opener, and use that sparingly. Second, make sure you use a good set of coin, and money tricks.

3. Write down 3 routines varying from 3 to 5 effects,(The idea here is to have leeway as to weather you want to go for 1 minute, or 10) Make sure that the first trick:

3.A.1. Establishes Credibility.

3.A.2. isn't too great, you just want to wow them a bit.

The other thing you need is a last trick or a grand finale. Make sure the Finale:

3.B.1. Is one of the most POWERFUL and AWE INSPIRING effects you know.

3.B.2. Is a curtain call (This means, that when you finish, it punctuates your "done-ness", you simply can't continue)

A GREAT example of both of these is Jay Sankeys Bigger Finish. It's INSANELY powerful. In fact, in my experience, this effect is just too powerful to follow, you just can't beat it. When you perform this effect correctly, you can't even follow with the Cups and Balls.(speackig of C&B, that's another GREAT finale) Its just the end. Plus, they just destroyed 4 of your cards, you can't perform any more, your decks short. Smile

Make sure the "meat" or the "middle" effects are entertaining, and grow in power to extenuate the Finale.

4. Make sure your well dressed when your ready to apply. Walk directly in, and ask for the manager.

sub-point 4.A. - Make sure to check the menu prices, the cost of a meal is a reasonable asking price/wage.

SUB-POINT 4.B. IN THE ANNOYING LARGE PRINT BECAUSE ITS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: don't EVER, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES (not to be confused with circumsize, COMPLETELY different) perform for the manager.

The FIRST thing you do is give him a business card, this establishes credibility. Then ask the manager if there is a good time when you can give him a demo.

Set up the time, and have him watch you interacting with the Spectators.




Well, I think that's pretty much the definitive work. Hey, I should write a book!

Anyone wanna add anything I forgot?

OOH! Dialogue for talking with the Manager:
"Hello, my name is ________. I am a professional Restaurant Magician (Hand him the card) and I think your restraunt could benefit from some close-up entertainment. You see:,(go on to explain why it would be useful, for instance, in a place already entertainment oriented, you could talk about how the entertainment - though excellent - just isn't personal, it isn't intimate with the spectator. With a close-up show, you interact with the customer, and they have the ability to choose what comes next. If they want it stopped, they can just say stop and have their own peacefull little dinner, or they could just be wanting to have a Kickin' good time!

Did I miss anything?

God Bless,


C. Vernon Bitter
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who does not know it and can no longer wonder, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed." Einstein
DanielGreenWolf
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Well, I have a couple of things to add and subtract from Darck's statement. Keep in mind that I'm not down playing either him or Jay Sankey with these opinions of mine.

1. I completely agree about the hammering the subject to death. I feel that, not only do the folks that attack this topic make it intolerable to read, but they make the questioner... who is usually unknowing of your OPINIONS (because remember, that's what they are folks. Not written law) feel ignorant for doing asking. In short... "Hold Yer Fire!" lol

2. You're going to need a lot more than 3 routines. You'll find (as has been said in other areas on this forum) that regular Restaurant work eats up effects fast. You'll have people coming back for more magic and if they see you're doing the SAME stuff... they'll take their dining experience elsewhere (save the exceptions that don't mind it... but we're talking most of the people, most of the time).

3. Your effects should all be visual, strong and self-supporting. "What do you mean?" I mean, if the food comes in the middle of a routine, you should be able to end it (no matter what part your in) and the audience should feel like it was meant to end at that point. So most effects should stand on their own in terms of strength.

4. Never walk into a restaurant cold. Call, ask for the name of the GENERAL manager, ask when he or she is available to talk and if they are at that moment, ask them if you can come in a speak with them about an idea that can greatly enhance the atmosphere, the attendance, and the overall function of the restauant (Never ever call during lunch and dinner rush). Most times, they'll be at least curious and say yes.

5. The idea of a cost of a meal being a reasonable price / range? Not really. Unless you're working at an EXTREMELY expensive restaurant (and magic can work in those situation if approached correctly), that won't be the case. You have to consider the area the restaurant is in, the overall cost of items on the menu is a good way to determine the funds a restaurant would have, but there are many other factors as well that need to be considered.

6. What to say to a manager? hmmm... first... avoid kickin'. lol Seriously, however, don't necessarily use the words close-up entertainment. Close-up is a magician's term (commonly) and can confuse some people (Managers? Confused? Never! But yes). "Intimate Magical Entertainment" is ...okay... "Personal Magical Entertainment" is good. NEVER leave out the fact that you're doing Magic. You're a magician. An entertainer, as well, but that's a broad term. Magician tells them WHAT you are and gives them a concept of what you do. Strippers are also "Entertainers" but I doubt they'd play well at a family restaurant. (Kicks the "Hooters" Owl. "Not while I'm talking!")

7. Also remember, a magician can also play Goodwill ambassador for customers. You can explain that. If they have a problem with service or otherwise, a magician can explain to them to speak directly with the wait person. This keeps you from doing anything outside of the magic (which is your job. Not bouncer) and opens up the communication between the wait person and the customer so they can be served better. This will keep everyone happier and is a strong selling point.

These are just a couple of things to remember on this topic. Hope it works out for you.

Daniel GreenWolf
Believer of Tooth Faeries,
regular faeries,elves, gnomes, dwarves, dragons,
and most else you can imagine...
-Much love,
Daniel GreenWolf
Celtic Magician

www.GreenWolfMagic.com
Darck Ninja
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I am sorry that I did not state clearly that the three routines are to start. No magician can make a living off of three routines.(Well, maybe stage magicians, but not Restaurant magicians) I was simply recommending that you start with three. I think that's something that's good to start with, after that you'll know what will work for you, and what won't. There-for giving you the power to create your own routines that work perfectly for you. I could share with you my routines and patter, but it still wouldn't work for you the way it works for me. Its OK to borrow patter when you start out, before your real comfortable with magic in general, but then you have to start being original and stop using Hack lines like "Hold out your hand sir. No, your clean one." I just decided to put that one there because it DRIVES ME INSANE!

Any-hoo, off of my mad rant, feel free to inquire more if this isn't allready enough to make your brain explode;)

God Bless,


C. Vernon Bitter
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who does not know it and can no longer wonder, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed." Einstein
Peter Marucci
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Darck Ninja writes: ". . . Its OK to borrow patter when you start out. . ."

Oh, no it isn't! Let's be honest and call this what it is: Theft!

There are plenty of lines and routines that are being given away (and I should know!) that you don't have to "borrow" lines from other performers, whether you're starting out or not.

Better a poor original than a good copy!
Darck Ninja
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Look Peter, I'm as much against stealing lines as anyone, but when you started out, was ALL of your patter original? I find most Apprentices/learners copy the patter of the people they learn from almost EXACTLY. We all start out this way, and if it carries us through to the next level, then why not? I have had many-an-apprentice, and I find this to be the same with all of them, save one (he was already an established magician). Again, just about everyone starts out this way. It's just how things are most of the time.

God Bless,


C. Vernon Bitter
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who does not know it and can no longer wonder, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed." Einstein
Peter Marucci
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Darck Ninja writes: "I find most Apprentices/learners copy the patter of the people they learn from almost EXACTLY. We all start out this way, and if it carries us through to the next level, then why not?"

Because it's WRONG, that's why not!

There's an old line -- "Start out as you mean to go on" -- and it applies here, too.

Some people don't see anything wrong with stealing material if they can justify it!

And, BTW, when I was starting out, YES, all my patter was my own!

cheers,
Peter Marucci
KirkG
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I think the distinction here would be to used published canned patter until you are equiped with enough performance experience to create your own. Once you have done that, then try to get work in restaurants.
Stop thinking of Restaurant Magic as entry level magic work. This is customer service, think on your your feet, do large volumes of material well, audience management, situational awareness, etc. etc. advanced performing ability. Not a place for a beginner.
Beginners belong in church, family functions, retirement communities and hospitals. Then, when you have got nine tricks in three routines, start marketing yourself by doing restaurant magic.

Never copy the lines of another, without their permission. Period! Yes, ignorant beginners start that way, but we aren't those people, are we?

Kirk G
Darck Ninja
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Thank you Kirk, That is what I've been trying to say all along. I think that you can borrow anothers patter until you actually know what your are doing enough to create your own.
Obviously, me and Peter will never see Eye-to-Eye on this on. But that's OK, we're just gonna have to agree to disagree.

God Bless,


C. Vernon Bitter
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who does not know it and can no longer wonder, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed." Einstein
p.b.jones
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Stop thinking of Restaurant Magic as entry level magic work.

Hi,
But the truth is in most curcumstances it is!
Most magicians these days start with close up magic a few tricks for friends ext. so the logical and easiest extention of this is close up magic for people they do not know that well, for example restaurants. it would be much more difficult for those same people to jump into larger audiences as you suggest as they would lack the skills to project/present themselves to a larger audiences as you suggest.

mr C Vernon Bitter
using canned patter as Kirk G put it means using std public domain patter it is not the same as copying another performers patter without permission which is stealing!
Phillip
Peter Marucci
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Phillip writes: ". . .using std public domain patter it is not the same as copying another performers patter without permission which is stealing!"

Exactly my point! Well put.

Darck Ninja, stealing someone else's patter is NOT an opinion or a viewpoint; it is an absolute. And you don't do it. Period.
Liam Jones
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A tip from me is don't work for tips
itsmagic
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I was celebrating a birthday at a restaurant about a year ago, when they had just "hired" a magician. One year later I was back at the same restaurant celebrating another birthday. When I asked the management about the magician, he said that things didn't work out. The manager continued, "the magician was working for tips solely, and he didn't get paid enough to make a living. Plus, the customers didn't feel good giving tips to the magician and the waiters/waitresses."
Paddy
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I keep hearing about not working for tips. Sorry but I think you are all wrong. I am a full time restaurant magician working under the name Paddy The Clown. I average over $400 a week JUST IN TIPS. Added to my restaurant fees plus the parties I do (average about 8 per month) adds up to a good income.

I won't equal Copperfield's income but I do live nicely. Sorry but without the tips I am going to lose a heck of a lot of money every year. There is not a bloody thing wrong with working for tips. I will stress, however, that anyone that works for tips alone is an IDIOT. We are bringing guests into the restaurant so we are worth the fee we charge.
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p.b.jones
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There is not a bloody thing wrong with working for tips.

Hi,
Well this is just down to opinion, as you can see many people are against it here in this small group therefore as much as you try and deny it a percentage (perhaps large percentage) of people do not like to tip/have a low opinion of those that except them. sorry but to me taking tips is no different than begging ... fine if that's what you want but not for me and something that others may wish to consider at the very least.

"Sorry but without the tips I am going to lose a heck of a lot of money every year"

Yeah we have people over here that sit in town centers with a dog and hat many are reported to earn £300.00 ($550.00) a day and more and actualy have nice homes. but I personaly would not want to do it. In fact our goverment is actually talking about banning begging.
Phillip
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